Elana Segal's Music Studio

What to Expect from Private Music Lessons

  Sunday, June 18, 2023 by Elana Segal | Music Lessons

If you are new to music lessons, here are general expectations for the six months of lessons:

What to expect in your first  lesson:
  1. Learn the parts of the your instrument
  2. Learn to assemble and care for your instrument
  3. Learn to read music notation, including rhythms and pitches
  4. Create a sound on your instrument

What  to expect in your first month of lessons:
  1. Continue to learn music notation
  2. Create more sounds (pitches) on your instrument
  3. Play with great posture and embouchure
  4. Play simple songs and exercises from your method books

What  to expect from 6 months of lessons:
  1. Expand the range of notes (pitches) you can play
  2. Incorporate dynamics (loud/soft sounds) into your music
  3. Learn songs with more complex rhythms 
  4. Have a daily practice routine of warmups, scales, technical exercises and songs 

What  to expect for transfer students:
Transfer students are students switching from another private teacher. 
  1. Evaluation of current skills
  2. Discuss goals for lessons
  3. Review materials, scales, repertoire, etc.
  4. Create a plan for future lessons moving forward

I would love to hear from you! What are your questions about private music lessons? 

Eco Friendly Music Studio

Sunday, July 9, 2023 by Elana Segal | Music Lessons

In addition to teaching music, I am equally passionate about leading a low waist lifestyle to protect our planet. 

Here are some of the things I do to make my studio more sustainable:

  • Paperless studio materials and invoicing through My Music Staff
  • Cruelty free hand soap and hand sanitizer for students
  • Using LED light bulbs in the studio
  • No single use plastic water bottles. Filtered water in reusable cups is available if a student forgets to bring their water bottle.
  • Encourage students to support local and small business music stores to cut down their carbon emission from shipping
  • Only serving vegan (and allergy-friendly) snacks at recitals in reusable or compostable dishes

Let me know if you have suggestions to make the studio even more low waist! I am always looking to improve.

Wooden Clarinet Care

Sunday, June 18, 2023 by Elana Segal | Clarinet

How to care for your new wooden clarinet. Break-in process and winterize your new instrument.

Break-in Process
Your new wooden clarinet needs to be conditioned properly to condition the wood for moisture and temperature changes. These steps should also be followed if you bought a used instrument that has not been played in a while.

Playing on your new instrument for an extended period of time will risk the wood taking on too much moisture and stress the wood from the extreme temperature changes. Taking the time to break in your new instrument will condition the wood and reduce the risk of a major crack. 

Follow these steps:
  • Swab out the instrument (bell to barrel) with a microfibre swab after each use
  • Play on it for 5 minutes a day for the first week
  • Play on it for 10 minutes a day for the second week
  • Play on it for 15 minutes a day for the third week
  • Play on it for 20 minutes a day for fourth week

Winterize Your Clarinet
Your new wooden clarinet will be very sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Make sure that you never leave  your instrument in the car, by a heat or A/C source. 

A case cover can help manage the temperature of the instrument. Companies like Protec and Altieri make thermal bags that fit common clarinet cases.

Using  a humidification system can also reduce the risk of your clarinet drying out and cracking. Products like Humistat and Dampit offer in case options, or just throw some orange peels in your case to release moisture. It is important to note that you can easily over humidify your instrument, so carefully monitor the case humidity levels. I have found that my clarinets need more moisture in the Winter, and less in the Summer. 

Take extra precautions in the winter months!
The biggest enemy for clarinet is cold temperatures. Even traveling a short distance in the cold Winter is enough to drop the clarinet temperature down. Always feel your clarinet and let it sit for a few minutes to acclimate to the room temperature.

Instrument insurance
It is a good idea to get your instrument covered under your home owners insurance policy. If you will be traveling with you instrument, you may want to look into instrument specific insurance company like Clarion Instrument Insurance.